California Redwood Forests Play Big Role In Fighting Climate Change

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – There’s one more reason to love California’s redwoods: a new study finds giant redwood forests are doing more to fight global warming than any other ecosystem.

California’s redwoods are so big, a hollowed out tree trunk can easily swallow up a hiker. It’s that enormous size that is also helping in the fight against global warming.

A new study out of Humboldt State University finds that redwood forests store more carbon per acre than any other forests on the planet, even tropical rainforests.

• ALSO READ: Century-Old Redwood Trees OK’d For Lumber Harvest, Despite Objections

“And they take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and turn it into this amazing red wood that we’re so familiar with,” Emily Burns, science director with the Save the Redwoods League, told KCBS.

Burns said even after the trees die the carbon stays sequestered, because redwood takes so long to decompose.

“If we take care of these forests, protect the old trees and old forests and protect the young forests to become the old forests of the future, we will be stripping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and helping ourselves,” Burns said.

Burns says the redwoods’ carbon sequestration may be more valuable than the lumber in the coming decades.

More from Matt Bigler
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